Vocal Point 17/02/2020

Hi all

Last Tuesday we saw another toughly fought competition with really high standards of entry in all the classifications. We really do give the judges a tough time (not that we feel sorry for them) – picking the top three is a challenge. It’s good to see the images competing for the top spot coming from a wide range of members – it really is very difficult to predict who will come top in our annual awards this year.

This week Colin will be doing the early session with another of his print critique nights. These are proving to be invaluable in raising the standard of entries into our print competitions – and not just the novice section. So, please bring something along for positive critique and advice.

The main event will be a presentation from Bob and Sue Moore – “Moore and Even Moore Prints”. Our longer established members will need no introduction to them. For our newer members – you are in for a treat.

See you all then.


Vocal Point 10/02/2020

Good morning everyone.

What a stormy weekend, I hope none of you has been affected by the extreme weather. Perhaps some of you went storm chasing for images of crashing waves. For anyone into landscape photography, or anyone that appreciates stunning images, then have a look at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-51386024 Some great work, and plenty of inspiration for everyone.

Talking of stunning images, it is not long to our set subject competition – Architecture. This is for PDIs and will be held on 3 March. There is still plenty of time to get some images under your belt. In the West Midlands we are lucky to have such a wide range of architectural design from different eras, so I look forward to seeing your work.

And talking of good work, I am delighted to report that Julie Hall has had 4 acceptances in the Solihull Open Exhibition – 2 of which scored 14 out of 15 She now only needs 2 more acceptances for her BPE 2*. Well done Julie.

Finally, this week we should have seen the return of the ever popular Roger Lewis Foundation Course in our early session. We have, at short notice, a change to the early session this week. Unfortunately, Beks has been called away to work at some distance from home and is unlikely to get back to Bromsgrove in time. I will bring forward the presentation I was planning for 3 weeks time which will be an introduction to using layers, and why you should get into the habit of using them all the time. We will cover the adjustments that can be made within layers. Now, all I need to do is prepare something.

This is followed by the 3rd Print Competition judged by Ralph Duckett. Good luck everyone, and I will see you there. Best wishes David

Vocal Point 03/02/2020

Hi all

Before I get on to other matters, could you please note that I have attached a new copy of the Tea Rota. This rota is new for this season and up until Christmas it seemed to run without a hitch. Since then we have had 3 occasions where members have not been aware that they are on the rota. It is only one night per year when we request that members help out and it has been well received. If (for any reason) you are unable to do your allocated night, then I would be grateful if you could make arrangements with another member who has yet to do their stint and do a swap. Worst-case scenario, have a word with me. Many thanks.

The night with Alex Sharp on equestrian photography well, and seemed to create a buzz in the room when people realised that it may be possible to earn a little bit from their hobby.

This week we have a print critique night. Colin has already sent out all the information required for this and we look forward to your support. Please bring along one to two prints for analysis and critique. There is no early session this week.

Also this week, we have the Six Societies Competition hosted by Studley CC. We have a strong entry of prints from 6 members and we hope to replicate our success in the recent Midphot Competition. Once again, Colin has already sent out all the information that you need to attend. Parking is at a premium I believe, so car sharing is recommended. I will be leaving Bromsgrove about 7-15 and I will have space for 2 to 3 passengers. Please contact me if you would like a lift.

Well that’s it for today, I will see you all tomorrow.


Vocal Point 20/1/2020

Hi all

It will be good to get back to the serious side of photography this week. The New Year Party and the Knockout Competition were a lot of fun and gave us a chance to enjoy the social side of our hobby. This Tuesday night we have our 3rd PDI competition (Mono and Nature sections). Hopefully, you have all entered – our judge is John Bissell.

There is a discrepancy between our printed programme and the programme on our website this week, but I would like to confirm that we have an early session this week. Colin will be running a print critique evening. It’s a chance to bring along some of your print work – any size, subject, colour, mono or nature, mounted or unmounted – for an evaluation, positive critique and advice. Evenings like this will build up your confidence in your work.

This is also a reminder that the closing date for entries to Midphot is 8th February 2020. I was blown away by the quality of prints on display at the Knockout Competition last week. I have no doubt that many of the images on display would easily qualify for acceptance to Midphot. If you have never entered an external competition before, then this is a perfect one to start with. PDIs can be entered online, Colin will coordinate our prints so they are taken to Smethwick – rather than needing to post them. If you are worried about the expense it is only 75p per entry. For more details please visit http://www.mcpf.co.uk/

Good luck to all who have entered in the competition this week, and I will see you all then.

Best wishes


Vocal Point 13/1/2020

We certainly started the year on a high note last week. Our New Year Party and quiz had massive support. It was certainly a lot of fun, and congratulations to the winning team for their success. Special thanks go to our social secretary Janet and her team for the hard work that went into making the event work. The quiz master – Russ – is rapidly becoming our go-to person for the evening – note to self “must watch Coronation Street next year”.
On Saturday past, 12 of us spent an afternoon with Wendy Irwin. Many of you will remember the excellent presentation that she did in the autumn time. On Saturday we had a chance for a hands-on event, but also many useful tips on photo-editing.
There will be no early session this week. The main event will be our Knockout Competition. Remember to bring your prints on the night – a maximum of two entries, any subject, any size, mounted or unmounted. We’ve had a positive response so far but we need more entries. It would help the organising team if you could advise me in advance if you are planning to bring prints on the night – just reply to let me know how many you will be bringing – no titles required. We will also run our sales table tomorrow night. Another chance to get a bargain – including tripods, photo mounts, flash heads and other lighting, and much, much more. Who knows what you might pick up at a bargain price.
Well, that’s all for now. See you tomorrow.

Vocal Point 6/1/2020

Hi all
Five of us attended Smethwick International yesterday. The quality of the images on display was superb – both PDI and Print. Our society was well represented in the exhibition. My apologies if I have missed anyone or their award, but I do know that we had 20 images on display from Jenny Webster, Barry Green, Len Pugh, Julie Hall, Colin Close and Sue Vernon. Jenny received a ribbon for her print “Grizzly Bear On The Move” One of Len’s images caught my eye – “Sophie”.
Many of you will remember Sophie modelling for us on one of our studio nights – Cosplay. Our free studio nights give anyone in the club a chance to produce images of a standard to enter International Exhibitions. The next one is on 25 February, so bring your camera and who knows?
On the subject of acceptances, I am delighted to report that Sue Vernon has had 3 acceptances into the Bebington 2020 Salon – well done Sue.
Remember, this week is our New Year Party – a chance to dress up, let your hair down and have a bit of fun. If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, don’t worry you can pay on the night – £6-00 per head. Please let me know if this is the case as the room needs to be prepared for the right number of people – tables and chairs.
Remember we start at 7-30 this week.
The following week sees our knockout competition. Please bring along your entries tomorrow night if you can, if not you can bring them on the night – A maximum of two prints, any subject, any size up to 20 x 16 inches, unmounted or mounted.
Well, that’s it for this week. See you tomorrow.

Vocal Point 1/1/2020

Happy New Year to you all.
I hope the Christmas period was good for you all, and that the new year brings you what you desire.
We’ve spent today at Slimbridge – an excellent way to blow out the cobwebs and practice some nature photography at the same time.
I’m sure you have all remembered that it is our New Year Party next week – starting at 7-30 pm If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, it’s not too late to come. If possible please let me know if you will be there and any dietary requirements that you may have.
The week after we are holding our Knockout Competition. This is for prints of any size up to 20 x 16 inch – mounting is optional. The order of prints in the first round is totally random – any subject matter is allowed. Comments and helpful critique will be welcome from the floor. The audience are the judges for the night. Above all, it is for fun rather than prizes. Last year we had about 80 entries, and I seem to recall that the atmosphere was akin to a Roman amphitheatre at times. There will be a maximum of 2 entries per member. I would be grateful if you could bring your entries to the New Year party. If that’s not possible we can handle a number of entries on the night. Please remember to title your prints and include your name on the rear.

Finally, Colin has previously sent you information on the Smethwick 45th International Exhibition of Photography. This runs from this Saturday 4 January to 12 January. Several of our members have work on display. It would be good to give them your support and it’s also a chance to see the current standard of photography from across the world. I will be there, but I’m not sure which day I will be going.
Once again, a Happy New Year to you all.

Sorry all, I should have given you this link regarding the Smethwick Exhibition – www.SmethwickInternational.com The opening day is Saturday and there may not be many tickets left. Please note that if you are going at either weekend, you should book your ticket in advance.

Vocal Point 21/12/2019

Hi all
I hope you are all getting a chance to relax in our buildup to Christmas. If you have time on your hands and the weather is kind, then you could even take advantage of the winter light to get some seasonal shots.
Many thanks to Richard for his excellent presentation this week. It was informative and inspiring, and whilst equipment can be a factor, it was a chance to see what can be done with basic DSLR kit.
We return on 7 January with our New Year Party and quiz. It is not too late to book your place – just let me know how many tickets you want ASAP. We follow our quiz with our popular Knockout Competition on 14 January. This is open to all. Any print, any subject, colour or monochrome is acceptable. It doesn’t need to be mounted and any size up to 20 x 16 inches (mounted size) can be entered. Be aware though, that the audience is the judges and larger prints will be more visible to members sitting further back. It’s a bit of fun which was very successful last year at its inaugural event.
Finally, it’s a pleasure to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you all soon.

Vocal Point 16/12/2019

Hi all
Well, our role of honour continues to grow. I have received multiple notices of recent successes – my apologies if I have omitted anyone.
Frome – Michelle Chance 2 acceptances, Colin Close 1 acceptance
Ireland International – Jenny Webster a Silver Medal and an Honorary Mention
Bi-Continental/3 Country – Jenny Webster a Bronze Medal, a Salon Diploma and an Honorary Mention
Purbeck International – Julie Hall 12 acceptances, a Salon Bronze and an Honorary Mention
Well done everyone.
This Tuesday we have the double delight of our own members presenting on the evening. Tony Gervis will kick off the early session with a presentation on Photographing People. Our main event will be Richard Chapman on Astro Photography. Photographing the night sky seems very easy, but the results can be very disappointing. This should be an excellent presentation on getting the best results from a subject matter that is above our heads every evening at no cost.
This week concludes our programme until the new year. As you will already know, we kick off the New Year with our annual Party. If you haven’t put your name down already then please do so tomorrow. Guests are welcome. Tickets will cost £6-00 to include a buffet and a professional quiz with prizes plus our raffle with a top prize of £30 Amazon vouchers. Payment should be made tomorrow. If you cannot attend tomorrow night then please let me know if you wish to attend. Payment can be made online via bank transfer.
Let’s finish the year with a bang.
See you all tomorrow. David

Vocal Point 8/12/2019

Hi all

Well, how do we follow on from our major success in the Midland Bank Trophy this week?

We have two more great meetings to look forward to before the Christmas break. This week our early session will be part 4 of the Roger Lewis Foundation Course with Beks and Michelle. This is proving to be very popular so get there early for a good seat. The main meeting will feature our 2nd Print Competition (Colour and Mono Sections) with judge Tony Thomas EFIAP. Also, just a quick heads up on our main meeting the following week, which is our own Richard Chapman doing a presentation on Astro Photography. I always find that the night sky is at it’s best in January and February so I’m looking forward to tips and techniques on how to capture it on camera.

Looking ahead to January, our first meeting on 7th January is our ever-popular New Year Party and quiz night. This will feature a quiz with prizes plus food and drink. Our New Year Party is always a good night to let our hair down (for those of you who still have enough) and get to know people socially. We will be doing a list at club on Tuesday for those who plan to attend, we also like to see lots of guests on the night also, so please invite family and friends. More details will follow after our committee meeting tomorrow.

Well that’s it for now, see you all on Tuesday